Top of the World Executive Chef Claude Gaty Is Living Up to His Restaurant’s Moniker by Offering Cuisine with Influences from Around the Globe.

I recently stopped in to visit with Chef Claude Gaty at the Stratosphere’s Top of the World and can verify that the multi-talented chef is still providing dishes that live up to the restaurant’s name, with cuisine and ingredients influenced by cultures and traditions from around the globe. The French born Chef has traveled throughout the world so has the experiences to bring varied flavors to the table. Chef Claude said, “I like to express myself in different ways, using exotic flavors of the world.” Examples are is his Half Duck Contit—duck leg and breast with Persian jeweled rice, dried cranberry and Moroccan spice; Wisconsin Strauss Farm Rack of Lamb with dukkah crust an Egyptian spice containing sesame seeds, pistachio, cumin, garlic, herbs and coriander served with Tunisian harissa Greek yogurt, demi-glace and Japanese eggplant; and Australian Wagyu Skirt Steak with a peppercorn mix of Madascar and Szechuan peppercorns and Argentinian chimichurri containing parsley, oregano, chive and basil.

Worth mentioning too is a new and improved craft beer list covering a range of styles, with the likes of locally-brewed Tenaya Creek Hopride IPA and Bonanza Brown Ale, Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and Victory Golden Monkey Belgian-style Tripel.

Chef’s cuisine is not the only aspect of the restaurant that is globally influenced, as the staff hails from all parts of the world. I was delighted with the professional and friendly service of Juvy Francisa, a native of the Philippines who has worked at Top of the World for the past 2.5 years. When asked about what she likes about her job Juvy said, “It is the ambiance and everyone is enjoying themselves. People come for the view but then are amazed at how great the food is. It’s easy to work with the chefs and I love the crew, some of whom have been here for 20 years. And, I never tire of the view; rainbows are beautiful and from this height look like a circle.”

You owe it to yourself to stop in and check out Chef’s latest creations; and, the phenomenal view from atop the Stratosphere 800 feet up and rotating 360 degrees every 80 minutes is free and unlike any other in Las Vegas.

Chef Luke Palladino Takes the Reigns at Salute Trattoria Italiana at Red Rock Resort

Clique Hospitality recently hosted a media tasting at Salute Trattoria Italiana, its Italian restaurant at Red Rock Resort, to introduce us to menu items created by newly appointed Chef Luke Palladino. Chef’s resume would fill several pages, but a quick glance at his extremely impressive background shows he specializes in the food of his heritage, with four years of cooking and living in Italy, during which he was executive chef and partner at Venice’s internationally celebrated Ristorante al Covo. In the US he has had years of experience under his belt as owner, partner, and executive chef at eateries such as Atlantic City’s Specchio and New Jersey’s Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian Cooking; has worked under renowned chefs such as Paul Bertolli, Emeril Lagasse Jeremiah Towers and Todd English; opened Onda Ristorante at the Mirage as the executive chef when it opened in 1999 until 2001; and trained at the Culinary Institute of America CIA in Hyde Park, NY, where his classmates voted him “most likely to succeed” in 1989.

While space won’t allow mention of all of the 20 menu items we experienced, I’ll share what I deemed to be the highlights while I hesitate to leave any out, as they all were worth ordering during a visit. Our six-course tasting included hot and cold Antipasti: Ahi Tuna Crudo with blood orange aioli and Crisp Squash Blossoms with pistachio pesto; Pizze: Bianco with sun dried tomato pesto and pecorino & buffalo mozzarella; Hand Crafted Pasta: Truffle Ravioli ricotta & truffle sottocenere agnolotti and foie gras-cognac crema, and Salute Signature Pasta Roman-style pepper and cheese sauce served tableside in a pecorino cheese wheel dramatically set afire; Carne + Pesce: Grilled 16 oz Veal Chop with sage crema, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Prime Porterhouse with black garlic-porcini butter and Acqua Pazza whole roasted Mediterranean sea bass; Contorni: sides of crushed fingerling potatoes with rosemary, roasted root vegetables with sage brown butter and crisp Brussels sprouts with aged balsamic; and Dolci: Cannoli filled with ricotta, cinnamon, candied orange, pistachios and chocolate and Warm Nutella Cake with crème anglaise and vanilla gelato.

If you haven’t made it out to Salute to try Chef Palladino’s new menu, you owe it to yourself to do so, as this writer considers Chef’s offerings to be one of the best representations of authentic Italian cuisine he’s encountered in Las Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter.